To heads to Italy as exec VP Thomopoulos returns home
NEW YORK — HBO has signed Tony To as a high-powered consultant to the net’s $75 million production of “Rome.”
To, a veteran exec producer who helped keep HBO minis “Band of Brothers” and “From the Earth to the Moon” on budget, arrives this week at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, where production has been under way since late March.
Carolyn Strauss, president of HBO Entertainment, said To’s experience will be invaluable as executive VP Anne Thomopoulos returns to the States after serving almost six months at Cinecitta as one of the mini’s exec producers and “Rome” creator Bruno Heller steps up in his first stint as co-executive producer of such a huge undertaking.
Cast and crew were scheduled to journey soon to Bulgaria for shooting, but because “all of the sets in Bulgaria are under water” — the result of incessant downpours — Strauss said, “We’ll take advantage of the transition” from Thomopoulos to To as an excuse to delay filming.
Directed by Michael Apted, the HBO-BBC co-production chronicles the last years of the reign of Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds), focusing on two Roman soldiers and their families.